Think “gay,” “straight,” and “bisexual” are all the words you need to know to describe sexuality? Think again. Language is evolving and you’ll get left behind if you aren’t paying attention. So we compiled this list of gender terms and definitions for 2019 that can help you stay up to date.
Why should parents care?
Remember how your folks didn’t seem to understand you, your friends, or the struggles you were facing? The same can be said for kids today, particularly in the area of gender and sexuality, which is much more fluid than it was even 10 years ago. And because kids are growing up in an era when matters of sexuality are more widely discussed and understood, their knowledge far surpasses yours.
Don’t worry — we’ve got your back. Here are some of the most essential terms and definitions for gender and sexuality so you can communicate with your kids (or at least understand them).
FIRST UP: What is Cisgender and Transgender?
People are assigned a gender at birth. This gender assignment is made based on the anatomical sex of the newborn. So, if you’re born with a penis, you are assigned male at birth. If you are born with a vagina, you are assigned female at birth. If someone’s gender identity aligns with the one they were assigned at birth based on their biological sex, they are considered cisgender. Cis is just a Latin prefix meaning “on the same side.”
A transgender person is someone who identifies as a member of a gender other than the one they were assigned at birth. For example, a person who was assigned male at birth (AMAB) but identifies as
Being transgender does not mean that the person has undergone any kind of medical procedure.
NEXT UP: Gender-X